October is cybersecurity awareness month. This will be the first of a series of posts to help you secure your digital presence as well as the school’s.
Many best practices can be found at the Stop, Think, Connect website at: https://www.stopthinkconnect.org/
Virtually everything you do online today (pun intended) involves a password. Think of passwords as the last line of defense in the digital fort.
Strong passwords are not easily guessed by cyber criminals and take a long time to brute-force(randomly guessing a password until you get in). Characteristics of strong passwords include:
-Length: Passwords or pass phrases (a password that is a short sentence) should be at least 8-12 characters long. The more secure you want a login to be – the longer the password should be.
-Mixed character types: Passwords and passphrases should use a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. An 8 character password using only lowercase passwords has 208 billion possible combinations, as opposed to 60 Quadrillion possibilities with the same password using all of the characters on the keyboard.
-Unrelated to you: Passwords should be items unrelated to you – including names of relatives or pets, schools or work places, hobbies, birth dates, etc.
-Unique to a platform: Once a cybercriminal has one of your passwords – he will try that password (or variations of that password) on your other logins. Keeping your passwords to various sites unique limits the damage a cybercriminal can do. At the very least – financial sites, emails accounts that use password recovery, and social media sites should have unique passwords.
Good password examples:
Yellow f1lm t@pe (passphrase – yellow film tape with some characters changed)
ter$rG^6m (random password)
Bad password examples:
Han Solo and Leia
-Here are the lists of the most common passwords for the past few years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_most_common_passwords